Iridescent teal and the Vecht Trader

It was a gorgeous autumn morning as the sun rose over the salt marsh. Though with a blast of cold air coming from the north I must remember to wear my thermals next time!

Salt marsh sketch - Teal flying past the Vecht Trader

A sketch of the irrepressible teal dashing past the Vecht Trader

Flocks of goldfinches tumbled into the teasels and over 300 teal (the smallest of our migrating ducks) dashed along the edge of the mudflats their iridescent green wing bars glinting in the sunlight.  What a perfect October morning to be out on the marsh.

Close up of salt marsh sketch - Teal flying past the Vecht Trader

Sketch Notes
The morning sun glanced off the teal as they skimmed the edge of the salt marsh. Three tiny figures were just visible on the foredeck of the cargo vessel Vecht Trader as she left Royal Portbury Dock.

Sketch Colours
Salt marsh: yellow ochre, olive
Sky and sea: cerulean, winsor violet, cobalt
Vessel: winsor green-blue, cobalt, payne’s grey, indian red
Teal: raw umber, burnt umber
Teal wing bars:  winsor green, cadmium yellow

Colour mixing exercise (on right of sketch)
comparing winsor green (top) and winsor green-blue (bottom)


From the sketches came this larger work of October Teal.

Useful link
For more about teal visit the RSPB website at:

These salt marsh sketches are copyright of Hilary Kington ©


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